ACLU Tracking Down License Plate Scanning
OMG! They are putting these scanners in mobile units, patrol cars, on bridges, and light poles! They cost $80-90,000 and I just located where the local city council approved the expenditure.
Phased Approach To Improve Crime Fighting In
Aurora Through Technology
Current Operation of Surveillance Cameras and
Automated License Plate Readers
The Electronic Support Section maintains a video
operations center where cameras can be controlled and
Cameras are not normally monitored unless a specific
Police operation would benefit from active camera
Video from all surveillance cameras is stored on a server for
a period of 30 days. After 30 days, it is deleted.
If video is determined to contain evidence, the video is
transferred to the digital media management system in the
APD lab and retained based upon investigative needs.
More in this pdf here: https://www.auroragov.org/cs/groups/public/documents/document/010803.pdf In this pdf is the mapping system used. Also discussed here is gunshot recognition (which may be a good thing?).
OH goody, they will really be able to fight crime now!
Lt. Mark reported that the license plate reader system is pretty exciting technology that is being used across the country. APD used two older systems for about six years but they were not really reliable. In December of last year APD bought two new systems that 27 other Colorado agencies are also currently using. Denver Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol are also interested in the technology. The readers are hard mounted on the light bar on top of the patrol car and consist of a camera which takes a color photo of the vehicle and an infrared camera that instantly takes a photo of the plate and reads it, then checks the number against a downloaded database from CBI containing plate numbers of stolen vehicles, wanted individuals associated with plate numbers, registered sex offenders in Colorado, and registered owners with suspended, denied, or revoked Colorado licenses.
APD also has the ability to enter a license plate number and if that plate number is found by one of the systems it will immediately alert them to contact the detective that is looking for that vehicle. CM Miller asked if the system photographs the plates automatically and how fast it returns the result. Lt. Mark replied that the photos are taken automatically and it takes approximately three to five seconds for results. CM Roth asked if an officer can pull someone over just for a hit on the plate or if they have to be committing a violation. Lt. Mark said they can pull a vehicle over for a hit. All plate reads are stored on a server in IT for two years and can be researched against an entered plate number or partial plate number, a registered sex offender, a defined area or address and time frame making it a very powerful investigative tool. Users must be commissioned officers and may only search in relation to an investigation. About 78,000 plates have been entered since the first of the year. CM Miller asked if there are false positives using the system. Lt. Mark answered that it is possible, especially with dirty license plates. Officers are required to verify plate visually and to check with Dispatch that warrant is still active.
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